Hamilton leads Verstappen in first Monaco session

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

World Champion Lewis Hamilton posted the quickest time during the first free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday morning.

Heavy rain overnight left the track damp to begin with but after a few laps drivers changed from Intermediates to Primes, with Hamilton rattling off a sequence of quick times at the head of the pack.

Hamilton’s quickest time was a 1:18.750 as he ended the session 0.149s clear of Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen.

Despite having never driven the circuit before, Verstappen looked assured as he remained within the top 10 throughout the session and posted a late lap to go second for Toro Rosso.

Daniel Ricciardo, who was one of several drivers to err at Sainte Devote and take the escape road, hauled himself up the order to go third, ahead of former team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

The Ferrari driver escaped a wild moment at Casino Square, where he narrowly avoided hitting the barriers after sliding mid-corner.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was fifth fastest for Toro Rosso, ahead of Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado and Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat.

Kimi Räikkönen was eighth for Ferrari, with two-time Monaco victor Nico Rosberg in ninth.

Rosberg traded top sport with team-mate Hamilton during the early stages of the session, before making light contact with the barriers on the exit of Tabac.

Felipe Massa completed the top 10, ahead of McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, the latter spending an hour in the garage due to a problem.

Romain Grosjean finished in 13th place as the Force India pair were line astern, ahead of Felipe Nasr.

Valtteri Bottas was a lowly 17th as Marcus Ericsson, Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi rounded out the runners.

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